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All comments by Craig Zastera
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If you play “ELC” over doubles of (2M) (as I do), then a 3 rebid by doubler over advancer's Lebensohl 2NT is that–i.e. it shows a minimum range TO double with four cards in the unbid major and long (hopefully 6) s.

Usually, it would be very short in s–with even :Kx, I might be inclined to just bid 3 in case partner has 5+ of those and is very weak.

Of course, if your partnership does not use “ELC” doubles, then doubler's 3 instead of 3 would show significant extra values (and 5+ s).
Sept. 3
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Not true when pre-emptor's partner is unlimited.
This treatment (that 4 by responder should remain "semi-preemptive/high ODR over a jump overcall) is right out of Robson's book and it is a point whose importance he emphasizes.
Sept. 3
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If partner has Qxx-AKxxx-xxx-xx, 4 will be excellent.
That looks like a 2 advance (albeit near max) to me, so some sort of invitational move by doubler seems appropriate.
Sept. 3
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I chose 3 with the intention of bidding again to suggest my s. If they are at (4) when it comes around to me, I'd probably try 4NT.

An alternative (perhaps better?) is to bid *4* now, still planning on 4NT over (4) if necessary.

The 3 card disparity between the s and the s steers me away from an immediate 2-suited bid like 2NT.
Sept. 3
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I think it is very reasonable for 4NT here to be “regressive.”
Of course, that is in the context of opener having already shown a very good hand via 2 then 3.

Give opener something like:
void-Axx-AQJT9xx-AKx or even void-Axx-AKJTxxx-AKx

These hands are probably worth 2 then 3, but when responder pulls 3NT to 4, a regressive 4NT seems appropriate.

Opposite either of these hands, the A and the missing high honor will not be enough for slam, and a regressive 4NT warns of this possibility.

If responder has more, he can certainly continue over 4NT.
Sept. 3
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 3
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If opener is too minimal to pursue a game level contract after a natural invitational 3 level jump shift, he just passes.

I have played these invitational 3 level JSs for a long time, and I am sure that this approach is *far* better than gearing one's methods to stopping in 3M after 1M-3X inv JS.
That would require defining opener's 3M rebid as NF which is much less useful than allowing him to rebid 3M with a good hand and a good suit that would like to play 4M opposite a decent doubleton (or maybe even a stiff high honor) or another game contract otherwise.
Sept. 2
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With 3 card support, you decide between 3 and 3.
If (2) bidder's partner is a passed hand, 4 could be included among responder's strong raises, but if not that bid should be retained as pre-empptive (or semi-premptive–high ODR and long hearts with limited HCPs).
Sept. 2
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To me, seems like a close choice between 3 and 3.

3 shows values enough for game with usually exactly *3* card support. This is what we have, assuming 9-11 for partner's 2 jump (our hand is worth about 17).

An alternative would be 3. This also shows some extras and *I* think it is forcing here. It is less clear than 3 about the 3 card support (might just be a strong one suiter with s too strong for 2 overcall).
Sept. 2
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But unless you have special agreements, 3 is not forcing.
For me, it would be unthinkable to make a non-forcing bid here.

Now I know that some *do* play that a 3 advance of partner's double of their weak (2) *is* forcing, in which case it would be fine.

But I think common “simple” agreement is as you say–3 jump is invitational with 5 s while 2N (Lebensohl) followed by 3 is invitational with only four s.

Unclear what a jump to 4 should mean. Typically, a double jump advance of a TO double is based on a very long suit (6 or more) and limited HCPs.

I see little wrong with starting with 3 cue-bid to show strength, then bid s next time.
Sept. 2
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No one loves “G/B 2NT” more than I, but even with that convention I believe I would have passed this hand over (2) because it is *so* bad–void in partner's suit, likely wasted :Q9x, and a moth-eaten suit (too many holes).

I like my “Good/Bad 2NT” calls to show good profits so that partner will become convinced that this is a wonderful convention.

I fear that risking even a “bad” 2NT on this hand is too likely to lead to a bad result, although it does have the virtue of being un-ambiguous w.r.t suit shown (can only be s on this auction).

But that does bring up an alternative use for opener's 2NT here–to show a competitive hand with 6+ s and 4 s–desire to compete in either minor, s only if partner has 4+. Kind of a “scrambling 2NT”.

Can't have both–must agree that opener's 2NT here is either “Bad” with s or “scrambling” with both minors, longer s (usually 2 card length discrepency).
Sept. 2
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You can handle the cases you mention with “2 level Smolen” as follows:
* after 1N-2-2, 2 by responder is a relay to 2.
Opener must bid 2.
Responder can:
(a) pass 2 with a weak 5=4 major hand
(b) bid 2NT with 5=4 majors invitational
© bid 3NT with 5=4 majors GF
(d) bid 3 or 3 with 5 , 5 in bid minor, inv.
(e) bid 3 with 5=5 majors light invite
(f) bid 3 with 6=4 majors (light) invite
(g) bid 4 with 6=4 majors GF
(h) can use 4/4/4 in various ways to show
specific slam tries (must co-ordinate these
sequences with 1N-2-2D-<4/4/4> and
1N-2-2-3).
Sept. 2
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 2
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“Good/Bad 2NT” refers to *any* use of an artifical 2NT bid in competition when either opponent has bid 2X for the purpose of distinguishing “good” (game invitational) hands from “bad” (merely wanting to compete at the 3 level) hands on the basis of strength.
The “good/bad” 2NT bid could be by opening bidder, responder, or advancer depending on exact auction.

When “Good/Bad” 2NT is used in certain specific auctions, e.g.:
(a) 1N-(2M)-2N
or
(b) (2M)-DBL-(Pass)-2NT

it is often referred to as “Lebensohl”, but it is the same convention. “Good/Bad 2NT” is just a more generic name for using a competitive 2NT bid artificially to distinguish two strength ranges (one uses 2NT first, the other 3 of a suit directly).

According to Bergen (who I think invented this), “Good/Bad 2NT” may sometimes even be employed when it is a *jump* over a 1 level competitive bid by the opponents.
Sept. 2
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Ronald,
I understand your argument, and it is the usual basis for preferring 2NT “bad” and 3X “good” rather than the other way around.

The problem is that even after the “bad” 2NT, if 2NT bidder's unknown suit is the “right” one, his partner may have a good enough hand and fit for that suit that he would want to compete to the 4 level (or beyond) but can't due to lack of knowledge of which suit the 2NT bidder has.

This is especially likely when the “bad” 2NT bidder is attempting to compete in *partner's suit as in:
(a) 1m-(1)-DBL-(2)-2NT-(3) and opener's 2NT turns out to have been based on a desire to compete in s.

Similarly:
(b) 1-(2)-2N-(3)
Again if 2NT response is “bad” but happens to be
based on a fit, opener might well wish to bid
4 if he knew his partner had a fit.

In (a), we have attempted to mitigate this problem by playing that 2NT is either *bad* with a minor (or both minors) or *good* (i.e. game invitational) with s, so that an immediate 3 would just be competitive with s.
But this doesn't really solve the problem because the 2NT bid is still ambiguous (might be good with support or bad with minor(s)).
Sept. 2
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You can handle the 5=5 invitational hands in other ways.

For example, play that after 1N-2-2, 2 by responder is a forcing relay to 2NT. Then responder's 3 or 3 continuations are natural, 5=5 in s and the bid minor with “light invite” HCP strength.

That way, 1N-2-2-3m directly can be natural and GF as others have described.
Sept. 2
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Over invitational natural JS, all rebids by opener that are not game contracts are forcing. This includes raising 3m to 4m, which is a slam try in the minor.
Sept. 2
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One such “toy” which I have heard attributed to Garozzo is written up in May, 2007 Bridge World.
It goes like this:
(a) after 1-1-3:
* 3 is either long s or asking for a stopper
opener replies:
** 3 = support and a stopper
** 3N = no support, stopper
** 4 = support, no stopper
** 4 = no support, no stopper

* 3 is asking for a stopper for 3NT
opener bids 3NT with s stopped, else 4/4
with no stopper (4 = support)

* 3NT shows stoppers in both black suits

(b) after 1-1-3:
* 3 is either long s or asking for a stopper
opener replies:
** 3: stopper and support
** 3NT: stopper, no support
** 4: support, no stopper
** 4: no support, no stopper

* 3 is asking for a stopper for 3NT
opener replies:
** 3NT: stopper
** 4: support, no stopper
** 4: no support, no stopper

* 3NT shows stoppers in both rounded suits

This does not strike me as a particularly wonderful convention as it leaves many problems unsolved:
1. How good must responder's major be to bid 3?
2. Conversely, how good must opener's support for
responder's major be to show “support.” Is the
support requirement for opener different when he
has responder's unstopped suit stopped vs. when
he doesn't?
3. How does responder handle game going hands that
are, say, 5-5 in the majors?

Nevertheless, this convention would appear to have some merit as it tries to leverage the 3 rebid by responder to show two specific alternative hand types *and* it at least assigns clear meanings to the continuations after
1-1M-3.
Sept. 2
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Jeff,
I'd like to try some simulations for this problem but am not quite sure what constraints to put in for opener's hand.

You say 11-15 HCPs with 2+ s, but I'm suspecting that not all hands that satisfy those two conditions are 1 openings in your methods (?). For example, what is your 1NT opening range?

If you could give me a little more detail about the set of hands that qualify for 1 opener, I will try to use simulation to investigate relative merits of 1 (–> ) vs. 1 (–> 1N) responses.

Also, you might confirm whether opener will rebid 1 over 1 will *all* hands (meeting 1 opener requirements) that have exactly (and only) three s and rebid 2 with all hands that contain exactly four s, or whether he might sometimes deviate from this (say by re-bidding 1NT with three s or only 1 with four).
Sept. 2
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 2
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Peg,
I'm not trying to “blame” anyone here. As I observed, range of possible strengths for advancer is way too wide for accurate game bidding.

So I suggested my “practical” guideline that absent contra-indicating bidding from the opponents, doubler should “assume” 5-8 range for advancer (that's support points, not just HCPs) and base his Pass vs. invite vs. bid game himself decision on that assumption.

I'm not a fan of the idea of a 2nd round 2 cue-bid by doubler here. His HCP strength is perfect for that call, but I think this should be reserved for strong hands with 3 card support for advancer's suit, except possibly in some very rare case where doubler is *so* strong that he has serious slam aspirations.

On OP problem, both hands are borderline–doubler between 3 and 4 and advancer between passing 3 and boosting to 4. As I mentioned, the somewhat unexpected great value of advancer's doubleton is important here.

I will observe, though, that opposite doubler's hand, 4 would be a reasonable contract opposite xx-Kxxx-xxxx-T9x (a quick simulation with that hand had 4 making 62% of the time).
This observation, to me at least, suggests that doubler's mere invite of 3 is perhaps a bit too conservative.
Sept. 2
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A disgusting example of how “low” one might have to go with a 1NT advance after (1)-X.
Sure, 1NT advance is supposed to show 7-10 or perhaps even 8-11 in theory. But over 1M, especially 1, practical players know that it may be necessary to go lower (perhaps as here much lower) than that. Sad but true.
I must say I can't see a lot of virtue in 2 with this hand.
Sept. 2
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Danny,
It is obviously impossible to bid accurately if we assume a 0-8 point range for advancer.

Even a *4* point range is really stretching the accuracy of game vs. partscore invites.

So as a practical matter, doubler just has to “assume” that advancer is in the 5-8 point range for the simple suit advance and base his invites or game bids on that assumption.

So advancer “accepts” invite with 7-8 and declines with 5-6. When doubler has 20+ and 4 card support, he just bids game.

When advancer has less than 5 and this can't be diagosed by helpful opponents' bidding, we likely get too high.
Sept. 2
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